a year for different customer needs
Spanning 62 hectares and at an altitude of 700 metres at its highest point, Famy Lancrans quarry, situated just over 40 kilometres west of Geneva, Switzerland, is one of the biggest quarries in the Rhône-Alpes region of France. It is a quarry looking at a productive future, with 15 million tonnes of mineral reserves enough for another three decades of processing at current annual output. To meet the increasing productivity, quality, health and safety requirements, Famy invested in a new, all-inclusive aggregates processing plant in 2011.
“The plant is much less noisy than the previous one and is much better to operate from a health and safety point of view. The end products produced through it are also very good. If we did not have all these advantages from the new plant, we would not have got a licence to continue to work here for another 30 years,” explains Famy Lancrans quarry manager, Jérôme Petetin. “Around 25 years ago, 5,000 people signed a petition against the continuation of the quarry. Contrast that to six months ago when one person wanted to launch another petition against the quarry, and he found he was alone.
An impressive, 12-meter-long and 3-meter-high, aggregate washing barrel plays a vital role at Lancrans quarry. The Metso LD30120™ washing barrel is part of a €12 million plus investment in upgrading the quarry’s production capabilities. It is one of only 12 operating in France and one of 231 (or plus 200) barrels installed by Metso globally.
“The cleanliness of our products is very important,” explains Petetin. “Each of our rocks have 15% clay content prior to being washed. We needed to have a quality washing solution that was capable of removing all of it.” After washing the gravel is turned into various sized products for concrete, asphalt, gravel and sand customers by crushing and screening. The barrel has integrated Trellex rubber liners, ensuring best performance for cleaning and length of life.
Around half the multi-million-euro project cost was spent on new Metso model line-up: a Nordberg® NP1213™ impact crusher with Metso IC™ crusher automation, two Premier ES303™ screens, one Premier CVB2050™ inclined screen, the washing barrel and a sand treatment unit. Metso also supplied all the plant and stockpile conveyors.
“The old plant was working in two shifts. With the Metso plant we can have the same level of production in just one shift. Our neighbours are very pleased about this!” says Petetin, adding that Famy has been able to improve production efficiency significantly at the Lancrans quarry.
He highlights other benefits. “We used to use three crushers, now we use one. We used to have six trucks feeding the old plant. Now the plant is fed by the field conveyor running down from the quarry.
Currently, Petetin and his team processes around 500,000 tonnes/year of moraine gravel. Around 400,000 tonnes is used in customer concrete orders for customers in France and Switzerland. The remaining 100,000 tonnes is turned into either 0-4 mm, 4-6 mm, 6-10 mm or 10-14 mm products used in asphalt for highways projects in France. Most of the quarry’s customers are based in a radius of 40 km in France and Switzerland.
a year for different customer needs
Petetin says Famy looked at what other OEMs had to offer prior to investing. The company’s longstanding relationship with the globally-renowned quarrying and mining equipment manufacturer was among a number of key factors behind selecting Metso. “Their people are also based nearby in Mâcon and the aftersales service we get from them is good, including the pricing of and access to plant wear parts,” Petetin explains. “We wanted to have one partner that could provide a complete solution, rather than lots of partners and sub partners which can lead to too much discussion.”
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The quarry has been keen to work in consultation with residents and businesses in the nearby town Lancrans. “We’ve had very successful community open days here. During each of them we have explained how we operate and how we were able to extend our working licence by being as environmentally friendly as possible. One open day attracted 700 people.”
Lancrans quarry’s close working relationship with its local community is typical of its parent company’s inclusive approach to business. Founded in 1860, Famy is an independent, family-owned company with an €80 million turnover. The firm has 550 employees and operates three business divisions – public works, quarrying and exports. Famy has nine business sites in France and three quarries producing a combined 1.5 million tonnes/year of aggregates.
As well as working closely with its neighbours, Famy Lancrans quarry is also keen to encourage onsite biodiversity, in partnership with local authorities. A well-maintained river running alongside the quarry attracts rare yellow-bellied toads. Famy also allows local farmers to keep cows in parts of the quarry no longer in use. The insect life that the cow dung attracts also attracts different bat species to the site.
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Femy Lancrans quarry’s 0-120 mm moraine gravel deposit is extracted directly by a wheeled loader or an excavator, according to the nature of the face. The material is then transported to the plant by a 920m long conveyor. All materials are then washed in the washing barrel at a flow of 500 tonnes/hour. After that, all those materials are screened on two ES303 high-energy flat screens.
All materials over 20 mm or 30 mm are sent to the NP1213 impact crusher that works as a tertiary crusher. Output materials are then screened by the 10m² CVB 2050 screen to prepare 0-4mm, 4-6mm, 6-10mm and eventually 10-14mm products. The NP1213 works in closed circuit and re-crushes all materials over 10 or 14mm. These materials are adapted to the road industry and fulfil its specifications.
The NP1213 impact crusher with ICcrusher automation is a key model within the overall Metso plant solution at Famy Lancrans quarry. Commenting on the automation system, Petetin says: “We are very happy with it. It is very easy to operate and gives us all the information that we need. We’ve not had any issues with it since its installation.”
The materials that are not going for tertiary crushing are screened again in a second ES303 screen, in order to prepare concrete specs materials sized 4-10mm, 10-20mm and 20-30mm.
The 0-4mm sand coming from the plant’s screens is processed through an MS sand washing device that separates sand and very fine clays. Water is also processed through a thickening tank and 2 filter presses to stop the creation of any onsite ponds. Mud is sent back to the quarry by truck loading.
Famy Lancrans quarry traditionally closes for two months every winter, with plummeting temperatures making access to and from the site hazardous. Petetin also notes that the cost of electricity is higher in France during the colder months, potentially further eating into business operating margins. Such an approach, coupled with the productivity and efficiency gains offered by its turnkey Metso plant, leaves the quarry well prepared to meet improved aggregates demand in France and the rest of Europe in 2018.